Ok, so we’ve all been there.  We make something, like say a fuchsia wedding dress, and somehow we’ve got a ton of leftover, large scraps.  Now, generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of pink.  Especially for me to wear.  But I had made this skirt last year, and really needed something to wear with it.  I’ve got a couple of black tops, but I like to layer.  What I really needed was a pink tank top to wear under a black shirt.  But I couldn’t bring myself to invest anything into the project, since I’m no big fan of pink.  It just so happened that the famous fuchsia wedding dress was the same color as the accent splotches in that lovely skirt.

And while I was at it, I decided to try a Burda pattern I had picked up a few weeks ago.  I’ve always sewn with Simplicity, McCalls, Butterick, and more recently, Vogue patterns.  Burda, with their odd pattern backs and multiple-languages-on-one-page instructions made me a bit wary.  But I flipped through their plus size pattern offerings, noticed that they offer more of their patterns up to their largest size, and their plus sized garments don’t look like tents.  So I took a chance on a pattern for a tank top and a basic button down that I could assemble without instructions if it came right down to it.  The first happy surprise when I opened up the pattern was that the size chart (which is not printed on the pattern envelope, it’s in the Burda pattern book, in the back) is printed on the pattern tissue.  And it’s not the simple bust-waist-hips chart that we’re used to seeing.  It shows ALL of the measurements you’d use if you were drafting a pattern from scratch.  So if you’re long from your shoulders to your waist but short from your waist to your hips, you can see just how far off from their model you are.

The next thing I noticed is that there aren’t all of the pattern markings like triangles/diamonds and dots every couple of inches that the patterns I’m used to have.  I’ve started only marking the ones that I know I’ll really need because most of them are just annoying.  The pattern instructions were well written and well thought out… almost as if a real person had sewn the garment and written the instructions rather than just re-purposing basic instructions from something similar.  And the drawings included with the instructions were clear, well drawn, and actually helped you make sense of how to put everything together.

So I’m very impressed.  Once I got started sewing, I was even more impressed.  As a larger size, I find that most patterns that have bust darts make the darts too shallow for women with larger bust lines.  I was happily surprised that the dart was just right on me, and at a G cup, that’s impressive.  I did make a minor adjustment as I was cutting out, adding about 3 inches to the hip area to give myself a little extra ease.

So for next time, I’m going to skip the side zipper.  There’s plenty of room to get in and out of this top without the zipper, and I’m not fond of invisible zippers in general (they’re a pain to put in).  I’m also going to try making it in a knit rather than a woven.  I’ve been working on making some work out wear that is comfortable, stylish, and well fitted for plus size bodies.  I think this basic style would be well suited to that transition.  And making it in a knit instead of a woven would give a little extra insurance when I take the zipper out.

So here it is, hot off the presses.  I took a quick cell phone snap while I had it on for my final fit check.  Yup, for the first time that’s me in the pic, not my faithful dress form.  And now that it’s done, I’m going to wear it out tonight.  Keep your fingers crossed that I don’t dump salsa on it! 🙂

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